The Heroine’s Journey of Dot Bekker

What is the best thing that I love about my work? My work for over a decade has been working with Entrepreneurs which I truly love.  Entrepreneurship brings people such a feeling of independence and freedom.  However, right now I am working on returning home to my country of birth, Zimbabwe.  I am planning to drive home, through 20+ countries and 20000km, on my own. At the same time I plan to raise funds to help promising young girls in Zimbabwe with scholarships for High School or University education.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?  There’s perfect happiness?  Life has almost never been easy for me, my experience has been that happiness is seldom lasting and hard to capture and hold onto.   I have therefore decided to take my delight and enjoyment in the small things, a bird singing a sweet song just for me, the sun on my face, and the laughter to be enjoyed with dear friends.  Happiness can be found in the world around us but it isn’t always one consistent big bang.  I am also a firm believer that true happiness comes from within, right now, and it doesn’t come from a place, thing or person.

What is my greatest fear?  My greatest fear is the destruction our consumer lifestyles are having on this precious spaceship called earth and in the realisation that when we tip it past the point of no return the future will be impossible to imagine.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?  Being oversensitive.  I tend to care too much and it can be crushing and fill you with doubt.  I have to regularly remind myself that very often people’s behaviour is about them and not about me.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?  I admire most the women who despite all the odds, often on their own and with the great responsibility of children, start their own businesses and thrive.  In fact not only women entrepreneurs but really any woman who is paving the way and reaching back down for other women to succeed.

What is my greatest extravagance?  Right now I’m planning my 20,000+ km trip to drive home from Europe to Zimbabwe and everything that isn’t functional will be an extravagance as I will be living and sleeping in a transit van (BlueBelle) during the journey.  I am currently assessing every single thing I own and have to decide whether it comes with me or goes. Every bit of weight must serve a purpose and be functional and yet I can’t resist taking my elephants (statues) and books, oh and my electronic gadgets, oh and … there’s still much to be thrown away.  Learning to live with less is a freeing experience and easier than you think.

On what occasion would I lie?  Most people find me annoyingly forthright and honest, so I guess to get out of a speeding ticket, but BlueBelle (my van) is now so slow that exceeding the speed limit seems impossible so thankfully little chance to lie.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?  I can’t really think of anything I truly dislike, mostly there are things that just have to be done whether you dislike them or not, disliking them doesn’t get them done any easier or better.  However,  I really dislike hype, I have so many entrepreneur clients who come to me after spending an enormous amount of money on programs that promise ‘6 figure incomes’ who are more confused and poorer at the end of them.  These programs may be useful for some people but I find they make most people poorer.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?  I have been happiest since I decided to work for myself and I started my current businesses from an old RV Motorhome 10 years ago.  I love what I do as I can do it anywhere, coaching and mentoring people has been made so much easier with the internet.  I’m happy every time a client gets a breakthrough on their thinking and they get even more excited about what they are doing.  Their success is contagious.

If I could, what would I change about myself?  Age.  I’ve never considered myself old but in recent years I’ve come to see that older people are invisible, we’re treated differently (not usually better), more often we’re tolerated rather than being ‘seen’.  I think this is one of the reasons for my journey (www.goinghometoafrica.com) is to show people that when you get to 60 or beyond you don’t have to give up living.

What is my greatest achievement in work? I believe greatness is something that we strive for, but all too often we fail to see, or acknowledge, the many small steps that take us there.  I’m proud of every person I have helped, I believe that many small things make things great.  Whether the people I’ve worked with have made small changes that have been great or great changes that have been small, it matters only that they have moved forward, closer to their goals and dreams.

Where would I most like to live?  Back home in Zimbabwe, there is no place like home and I truly miss the sounds and smells of the African bush.  This is why I’m currently planning my ‘quest’ to drive home.

What is my most treasured possession?  My father’s engagement/wedding right which he gave to me before he died.  I wear it always and it reminds me of the qualities he bore of honesty, integrity and always laugh at your own jokes (no matter how often you’ve told them).

What is my most marked characteristic?  I’m told it is my laugh (which is described as hearty, or loud) or my blue eyes, I get comments about both in equal measure.  Usually people say ‘I heard you were here before I saw you’.

 

What books influenced my life and how?    I read non-fiction almost exclusively, there are so many interesting things to read about, so my list would be very long as there have been so many.  However, I shall choose 3

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran – a wonderful, insightful piece of prose that never bores me.

Conversations with God by Neil Donald Walsh – I have a habit of picking up great books at airports and train stations and this was one.  The information and wisdom in the book are life changing, and they influenced my view of the world today.

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz – the Toltec wisdom of this book provide four (and recently a fifth was released) guiding principles which provide me with perspective on life’s challenges and keeping my values intact.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?    The sound of birds singing and nature I need nothing more and never tire of it.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?   I’ve never been a hero worshiper, I believe we are all equal and sometimes circumstances make ordinary people do extraordinary things.  While I was writing this I heard the news of a horrific bombing incident, killing many children, and within this chaos a homeless man rushed to the aid of a dying elderly woman, staying with her and comforting her until she died in his arms … now that’s being a hero.  There are so many people who daily sacrifice to put food on the table for their families, to protect us, to nurse us, to teach us … these are the heroes in life and we should celebrate them all rather than the overpaid celebrities.

What role does art play in my life and work?   Regrettably art, music, acting, dancing all of these don’t play enough of a role in my life … so many things to focus on but I absolutely believe that without this creative element in our lives we would be much the poorer for it.  Support all artists, they enrich our lives.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?   My God-Daughter, Megan, over the past years we have been able to spend more time together and she has grown into this amazing young woman, she teaches me more than she realises.

Whom would I like to work with in 2017?   I would love to work with someone who may be interested in making a documentary of my journey and any potential sponsors to help me achieve this goal.

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on?   A lot of my time, effort and energy is currently going into planning my journey into Africa, which I mentioned previously, building my camper van and doing an immense amount of research.  However, one of the things I plan to do alongside my journey is highlight the need for young girls in Africa to get access to education and I am fundraising for scholarships to enable girls to access higher education in Zimbabwe.  There is plenty of evidence to support the fact that when women are empowered it improves the socio-economic outlook of a country.  That’s what Zimbabwe needs right now.  There are so many things that I could be raising funds for, but in having to choose one I decided to make it future focussed, because if we don’t start now … when will we start?

Where can you see me or my work in 2017?   If you’re interested in my Entrepreneurship program and mentoring you can find details at www.thedoteffect.com (also on Facebook).  To follow my journey to drive 20,000+ kms through 20+ countries to Zimbabwe find me at www.goinghometoafrica.com (also on Facebook).  Feel free to reach out to me via these websites or on social media.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?   My father was forced to get a job at the age of 69, having left Zimbabwe with almost nothing, he had to start again.  He never complained in fact, he never complained about working – EVER, he loved working and was always proud and passionate about his work as an electrician.  When he finally retired in his mid 70’s he carried on helping neighbours fixing things and helping out.  It was only when he reached his late 80’s that he could no longer do what he used to, he then took to his second passion in life, sitting in the sun until he was 93!  He taught me that doing what you love and being passionate about it is not something you want to retire from.

How can you contact me?

Find me at The Dot Effect for Entrepreneur Mentoring and Coaching (www.thedoteffect.com) – info@thedoteffect.com

To follow my journey home through Africa and blogs – Going Home to Africa (www.goinghometoafrica.com) – dot@goinghometoafrica.com

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